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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Mutant isolation and molecular cloning of mre genes, which determine cell shape, sensitivity to mecillinam, and amount of penicillin-binding proteins in Escherichia coli.

A chromosomal region of Escherichia coli contiguous to the fabE gene at 71 min on the chromosomal map contains multiple genes that are responsible for determination of the rod shape and sensitivity to the amidinopenicillin mecillinam. The so-called mre region was cloned and analyzed by complementation of two closely related but distinct E. coli mutants characterized, respectively, by the mutations mre-129 and mre-678, that showed a rounded to irregular cell shape and altered sensitivities to mecillinam; the mre-129 mutant was supersensitive to mecillinam at 30 degrees C, but the mre-678 mutant was resistant. The mre-678 mutation also caused simultaneous overproduction of penicillin-binding proteins 1Bs and 3. A chromosomal region of the wild-type DNA containing the total mre region and the fabE gene was first cloned on a lambda phage; a 7-kilobase (kb) fragment containing the whole mre region, but not the fabE gene, was then recloned on a mini F plasmid, pLG339; and finally, a 2.8-kb fragment complementing only mre-129 was also cloned on this low-copy-number plasmid. The whole 7-kb fragment was required for complementing the mre-678 mutant phenotypes. Fragments containing fabE but not the mre-129 region could be cloned on a high-copy-number plasmid. Southern blot hybridization indicated that the mre-678 mutant had a large deletion of 5.25 kb in its DNA, covering at least part of the mre-129 gene.[1]


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